Saturday, December 27, 2008
Brits discover rural roots via urban hens
Womerlippi farm hens: this year's Buff Orpingtons.
Here's an interesting Grauniad article about how many of my fellow countrymen and women are rediscovering the helpful hen, even in urban settings.
Following on my grandad's heels as a young tyke, I grew up partly in what I thought for many years was a long-gone world of terrace streets and allotments (community gardens), where old men like my grandfather, World War I and II veterans for the most part, practiced a Yorkshire kind of urban self-sufficiency with great efficiency and expertise. Hen coops and rabbit hutches were commonplace in the allotments. During WWII, mother kept rabbits as a young girl, while dad kept bantam hens, until he was bombed out and evacuated to the country.
Now apparently the allotments are making a comeback, and so are the urban hens.
Grandad could grow massive amounts of good food on his patch, not to mention huge quantities of cut flowers, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and the like. Flowers and veggies alike were wrapped in newspaper bundles and carried home, some distributed on the way to various folks he knew.
Growing and giving away food is a family tradition.